June 11, 2024

New York, NY, JUNE 11, 2024 -- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP announced today that prominent bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers Jörn Kowalewski, Ulrich Klockenbrink and Hendrik Hauke have joined the firm as partners in Germany. They will be accompanied by Jan-Philipp Praß as counsel, and a team of seven associates. 

Dr. Jörn Kowalewski is a top-ranked restructuring attorney known for his entrepreneurial and pragmatic approach to complex corporate restructurings and distressed M&A transactions. Dr. Ulrich Klockenbrink also is recognized as a first-class-strategist and negotiator with a great sense for solutions in highly contested transactions. They, along with Dr. Hendrik Hauke, are renowned for advising creditors, debtors and shareholders on major restructurings, particularly in the automotive, manufacturing, energy, transportation, real estate and travel sectors. Dr. Jan-Philipp Praß was recently part of the team that advised on one of Germany’s most prominent cases under the new restructuring regime. They join from Latham & Watkins LLP.  

Their additions support Willkie’s steady growth strategy in Germany and Europe over the past four years, during which time the firm has nearly tripled its size in the German market to approximately 85 lawyers. Today’s announcement also follows the opening of Willkie’s Munich office and addition of new partner Dr. Nils Röver earlier this year. It further expands the capabilities of the firm’s global Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department, and comes after the addition of Simon Baskerville in London.  

“Jörn, Ulrich, Hendrik and Jan-Philipp are regarded in the market as being among the top practitioners in their field in Germany,” said Rachel Strickland, Chair of Willkie’s Business Reorganization & Restructuring Department. “Their skills and experience will be valuable to our clients worldwide, particularly as restructuring and special situations transactions are often cross-border and are increasingly active during all economic cycles.”

Georg Linde, Managing Partner of Germany, and Kamyar Abrar, Co-Managing Partner of Germany, commented: “Expanding our transactional bench in Germany is a key area of focus, and Jörn, Ulrich, Hendrik and Jan-Philipp are top-notch practitioners who will add significant restructuring experience to our growing team in the region. We are thrilled to welcome them to Willkie.” 

Jörn Kowalewski commented: “Willkie’s dynamic global platform, strong growth trajectory in Germany and Europe, and leading global restructuring practice made this an opportunity for our team that we could not pass up. We are excited to join Willkie and look forward to working alongside our new colleagues in Germany and across the firm.”

Biographical Information

Dr. Jörn Kowalewski regularly advises distressed investors, lenders and steering committees, as well as debtors, shareholders and management in out-of-court restructurings, distressed M&A and debt-to-equity transactions. He has received numerous accolades and awards for his work, including top tier rankings in national and international legal directories for restructuring and reorganization. Prior to his legal career, Jörn led a midsized international trading company and served as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. 

Dr. Ulrich Klockenbrink advises clients on complex restructuring, distressed M&A, and enforcement situations, both in-court and out-of-court. He has authored numerous articles on restructuring, insolvency, and distressed investment topics and is ranked amongst Germany’s best restructuring lawyers. Ulrich served in various leadership roles at Latham & Watkins LLP.   

Dr. Hendrik Hauke advises German and international clients in a variety of cross-border distressed situations, including complex restructurings and acquisitions of distressed companies, as well as acquisition financing transactions. He was most recently named rising star for restructuring in Germany by Legal 500 and also at the IFLR Europe Awards 2024.

Dr. Jan-Philipp Praß represents clients in complex domestic and cross-border restructurings inside and outside of insolvency proceedings and distressed M&A. He has authored numerous publications on restructuring, insolvency, corporate, and legal profession law. 

The team practices in Hamburg and is based in the firm’s Frankfurt office.


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